We are now a quarter way through our Toastmasters’ year, and let us congratulate ourselves for the achievements our clubs have made so far this year. I am delighted that many of our clubs have been successful in recruiting new members and in registering Pathways education awards.
We held our first District Council meeting where our Club Presidents and Vice Presidents of Education voted with our District Executive Committee for all Area, Division and District contests to take place as hybrid events this year. I have already attended two very well organised and managed club contests with new members stepping up and entering their contest often with enormous success. This is especially pleasing as it shows that new members feel comfortable enough in many clubs to take what many outside Toastmasters perceive as being a huge risk or challenge. This speaks highly to how many clubs have a welcoming, open, and friendly atmosphere which encourages people both to join and then take part in club meetings and contests.
I know that several Area and Division Directors are planning their contests either for later this month or in November, which gives everyone a wonderful opportunity to network and to support their club members as they strive to reach the next level of the Humorous Speech and Table Topics contests.
Your District team has also submitted and received approval from Toastmasters International HQ, our District Success Plan, budget, marketing, and communications plans. This is a major milestone. It means our District can become a distinguished district at the end of the year once again.
I am pleased that Steve has been running the District Officer Training over the course of the summer as Programme Quality Director. 95% of our Area and Division Directors attended training. It was especially interesting that the last-minute training which Steve organised, attracted District Officers from District 95 (Germany and Scandinavia), and allowed us to exchange ideas, to learn from them and for them to learn from us. This highlights the importance of encouraging members and Club Officers to visit other clubs to network and increase the speed of their personal development as members learn to speak in front of new audiences or share best practices between clubs.
It is also pleasing that Mo, our Club Growth Director, has had successes in this first quarter, with two new clubs, Sustainable Speakers and Medidata EMEA, chartering. Several clubs that had been suspended have now become clubs in good standing again. I know that Mo has a strong pipeline of club leads and prospects and is asking for your help with demonstration meetings for potential new clubs and as mentors for recently chartered clubs.
I hope that you enjoy the contest season currently underway.